A rendering of the new Terminal 6 at JFK Airport.

A rendering of the new Terminal 6 at JFK Airport. Credit: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Construction of the $4.2 billion Terminal 6 at Kennedy Airport will begin early next year, state officials said, after they announced Thursday that environmental approval had been granted from the Federal Aviation Administration, and private funding sources have been secured for the first phase of the long-awaited project.

The new 1.2 million-square-foot terminal will have capacity for 10 gates that connect directly to JetBlue's Terminal 5 under a lease approved last year by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners.

"JFK International — the nation's door to the world — will soon be worthy of New Yorkers, providing an unparalleled passenger experience," Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

The new terminal will include touchless check-in technology, advanced security systems, an outdoor taxi plaza, 100,000 square feet of shopping and dining, and work from local artists.

The first gates, officials said, are expected to open in 2026, with work  completed in 2028. JetBlue, Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines will all operate out of Terminal 6.

The project, officials said, is expected to create more than 4,000 jobs, including 1,800 union construction positions.

Terminal 6 is a public-private partnership between the Port Authority and JFK Millennium Partners, a consortium that includes RXR Realty of Uniondale, Vantage Airport Group, American Triple I Partners and JetBlue Airways.

"We can no longer use the playbooks of the past to advance the region's most critical infrastructure projects," said Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive of RXR. "There is no better way to leverage public resources and unlock private sector investment and innovation than through public-private partnerships."

As part of the agreement, the Port Authority has agreed to spend $130 million in capital funding for the project, including roadway improvements and electrical enhancements.   

"We are ready to bring an unprecedented level of economic activity to southeast Queens, with construction jobs and opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses as we build a state-of-the-art terminal at one of the nation's most important international gateway airports," said Helena Williams, chief executive of JFK Millennium Partners and a former chief deputy county executive in Nassau County.

As part of the project, Terminal 7's current primary tenant, British Airways, will move to an expanded Terminal 8 later this year. The 60-year-old Terminal 7 will be demolished after the first phase of Terminal 6 is complete.

Terminal 6 is part of the Port Authority's $18 billion JFK Vision plan and the last piece of the airport improvement to get underway.

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